• Kyodo

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The finances of the nine power utilities with nuclear plants are expected to deteriorate during the business year through March as they spend up to an additional ¥3.2 trillion on fuel for thermal power generation, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

The nine utilities are struggling to finance fuel costs for thermal power to compensate for the halt in nuclear reactors following the Fukushima crisis. Before the reactors were shut down, nuclear power accounted for about 30 percent of all electricity.

According to projections that took into account only the additional cost of fuel for thermal power, Kansai Electric Power Co., Shikoku Electric Power Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. are expected to see a steep fall in net asset values by the end of the financial year.

Kepco is expected to post a net loss of ¥582.0 billion for the year and see its net asset value drop to ¥574.7 billion.

Shikoku Electric is expected to post a net loss of ¥138.5 billion and its net asset value will fall to ¥138.3 billion. Kyushu Electric is projected to suffer a net loss of ¥448.5 billion, while its net asset value will decline to ¥308.8 billion.

The figures suggest the utilities could fall into negative net worth if they log similar net losses next year in the absence of countermeasures, such as raising their rates.

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